GK-12 Graduate Teaching Fellow
National Science Foundation (2010-2013)
The Kellogg Biological Station GK-12 Bioenergy Sustainability Project is part of a national network of GK-12 sites, with the common goal of providing science graduate students with skills that will broadly prepare them for their future careers, particularly communicating science with varied audiences. Through interactions with teachers and students in K-12 schools, graduate students are expected to improve communication and teaching skills while enriching science instruction in K-12 schools.
As a fellow, I created several lesson plans, and presented these to students in K-12 classes, and to teachers and conferences and workshops. A few of my lessons can be found below:
- Do herbivores prefer local or exotic foods?
- Invasive Species Game
- Biotic Resistance – What can stop invasive species?
- Evolving to Invade
- BoxCar2D ~ Evolving better cars
- Why fly south?
- How seeds get around
Founder of Data Nuggets
National Science Foundation, Michigan State University (2011-present)
I am a co-founder and developer of Data Nuggets – free classroom activities, co-designed by scientists and teachers, which give students practice interpreting quantitative information and making claims based on evidence. They are created from cutting-edge scientific research and include real, messy, scientific data. The goal of Data Nuggets is to engage students in the practices of science through an innovative approach that combines scientific content from authentic research with key concepts in quantitative reasoning. Data Nuggets have the potential to improve the understanding of science in society and help train and motivate the next generation of scientists and engineers.
I have held workshops across the country, helping scientists create Data Nuggets based on their own research to build their broader impacts. In addition, I have presented Data Nuggets at national and local teacher and education conferences to share this resources as a way to take students through the entire scientific process and practice their inquiry skills. I created several Data Nuggets based upon my own research, and look forward to continuing to share my research and helping other scientists increase their broader impacts.
To support our continued work on Data Nuggets, I co-authord and received several grants, most recently a NSF DRK-12 grant, in partnership with MSU and BSCS, to study the efficacy of Data Nuggets in the classroom.We recently held a NIMBioS Working Group which brought together top researchers and educators to develop and publish an assessment to determine whether students’ quantitative skills and understanding of the scientific process improve when using Data Nuggets as part of their curriculum.
Other outreach materials:
- Data Nuggets featured on Michigan State University’s LTER (April 2016, June 2013), BEACON (May 2013), and The Molecular Ecologist (December 2014) blogs.
- I am a co-creator and contributor to the blog “Big Science, Little Summaries”. Keeping up with the scientific literature is difficult, so we began this blog as way to share summaries of the most exciting current literature. See all my posts here!
- Research featured in W.K. Kellogg’s Station to Station Newsletter (April 2013, August 2010)
- Ran a BEACON/BioQuest workshop for high school teachers to help bring inquiry into the classroom. Information and materials can be found here.
- Kellogg Biological Station GK-12 Project Bi-Annual Newsletter. Wrote about my research and teaching experiences for a broad audience on the distribution list for this newsletter, which includes teachers and families across southwest Michigan (Winter 2010, Spring 2011, Winter 2011, Spring 2012, Winter 2012, Spring 2013).
- A lesson I developed for GK-12 addressing my research on invasive species, and an activity on the Biotic Resistance Hypothesis, is featured in the Delton Kellogg Schools’ newsletter “Inside Track” February 2012 issue.
- Interviewed for VSI: Variation Selection Inheritance, a podcast production of the National Science Foundation’s BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. I discuss sharing my research in K-12 classrooms and the partnership between GK-12 fellows and teachers.
- Research from 2010 included on University of Michigan’s blog about Saginaw Forest.
- Research findings from Summer 2009 included on Stewards of Kleinstuck, Kalamazoo website.